Started out jumbled and confusing, no real plot for much of the novel, tepid romance, uncomfortable victim blaming and relationship with the abuser ((Started out jumbled and confusing, no real plot for much of the novel, tepid romance, uncomfortable victim blaming and relationship with the abuser ((view spoiler)[I get that her power confuses her as to whether what Valko does is wanted or not but NO. NO TO ALL OF THAT (hide spoiler)]), no real worldbuilding, bland cliched characters and it laaaags.
So this was a cracktastic, retconning mess of a book but I read it and loved it despite all the magical macguffins and that it was basically Clichea PSo this was a cracktastic, retconning mess of a book but I read it and loved it despite all the magical macguffins and that it was basically Clichea Pt. 2: Electric Boogaloo....more
I have loved all of Karen Miller's fantasy books before this. I expected to have the same fun and entertainment I'd come to expect when I pre-orderedI have loved all of Karen Miller's fantasy books before this. I expected to have the same fun and entertainment I'd come to expect when I pre-ordered The Falcon Throne.
Fast forward a year to when I finally crack the cover aaaaaand.... I am bored within three chapters. It's too much, too try-hard, too scattered, too obviously an appeal to fans of Game of Thrones or Joe Abercrombie's style. It's not that I don't like Miller experimenting with style, tone, subgenre -- I love her imagination! -- but it's served better when it's more unique.
Not continuing this series. Going to go reread the Godspeaker books again instead....more
I was excited for this.... but then it took over three days for me o just read the first 220ish pages, upon which I set it down and felt no desire toI was excited for this.... but then it took over three days for me o just read the first 220ish pages, upon which I set it down and felt no desire to pick it up, and then skimmed the last 125 out of sheer curiosity.
It was almost aggressively okay, but so reminiscent of other stories that Roberts has told before. And without the inherent nostalgia I have for those supernatural romance series, this one just didn't work. I liked some of the characters (Fin!) but others were intensely frustrating. The antagonist was entirely too one-dimensional and lacked presence.
It wasn't the escapist romance I was looking for, though I did like the magic used.
That said, I'll just have to find new copies of the Donovan series....more
Not terrible, but needed more work. Too long, too many indistinguishable POVs, too underwhelming when it comes to characterization and plot (view spoiNot terrible, but needed more work. Too long, too many indistinguishable POVs, too underwhelming when it comes to characterization and plot (view spoiler)[the big reveal? Predictable and almost expected. Way too easy for the massive, four-hundred page buildup (hide spoiler)]. I did have a few favorites (Cyn, you coldhearted wench, I heart you) and thought there was potential for a better turnout with the inevitable sequels.
I usually try to give a book at least 100 pages to do something - interest me, find its ground, establish characters... but Under DiPages read: 75/296
I usually try to give a book at least 100 pages to do something - interest me, find its ground, establish characters... but Under Different Stars was so frustraging, so full of cliches in the first 35 pages, I did laundry willingly.
I took a break, came back and read 40 more pages, and friends? It was a waste of time and effort. In those first 75 pages that I did force myself through, we learn that main character Kricket is...
A super tall, super beautiful (but doesn't know it), super blonde orphan.... with violet eyes.
She's also super special and super sad and... just... no. There's also an obvious love triangle on the way, among the other ridiculously unneeded and dramatic cliches to come. I honestly could not care any less about anything going on and it was not worth the time investment to continue for a further 220 pages. ...more
Wow. That was one of the most boring waste-of-potential I've ever read. I made it to about 65% and them skimmed to the end, and kids? It wasn't prettyWow. That was one of the most boring waste-of-potential I've ever read. I made it to about 65% and them skimmed to the end, and kids? It wasn't pretty.
I chose to DNF at 23% after the following infuriating quotes pushed me over the "to finish or not to finish" edge:
"It is every man's nature to take adI chose to DNF at 23% after the following infuriating quotes pushed me over the "to finish or not to finish" edge:
"It is every man's nature to take advantage of a woman's frailty. But most of us are able to resist the impulse when required."
"Barren women have no [sexual] appetites."
To those I say:
I utterly reject that all women are inherently frail and up for ravishment, as well as that "all men are just animals who have no brains aside from SEX. How flattering." (That quote is from the lovely Renae because I am too frustrated to formulate real thoughts.) Am I supposed to like these characters? Root for them? Because any chance that Sweyn would remain anything but a source of aggravation ended as soon as those quotes came into the story.
Also: the idea that women unable to bear children are free from sexual urges? NO. Sexuality has nothing to do with the ability to bear children. None. Whatsoever.
A valid point may be made that the author may be trying to convey typical thoughts from the first millennium (the novel is set in 1040's England), but to my mind there are better ways to do such a thing without being anachronistic. Godiva herself could have made more of an effort to refute both claims, but abandons the effort to focus instead on a pseudo-seduction of the man who uttered both.
Godiva does focus on some very fascinating and forgotten characters in English history (King Edward the Confessor, Godwin, Earl of Wessex), but they alone are not enough to convince me to go on. I have Google for that. I've read Galland before, but this particular story was a wash for me. I wasn't a huge fan of The Fool's Tale, but it didn't irritate me to the point of not finishing.
Besides the quotes, I had a few issues that rapidly became more and more problematic as the novel went on. Godiva herself tried to be an empowered woman who uses her sexuality to further her husband's and friend's goals, but it came off as uncomfortable and far too obvious a ploy. There is no subtlety to be found in her machinations around the court's noblemen. Her friend from childhood with royal ties and a bleeding heart for the poor managed to be too sanctimonious, even for an Abbess. Godiva's husband's approval of Godiva's use of flirtation and manipulation didn't ring true for the attitude of a powerful English nobleman.
No rating because I didn't make to 50% (where I usually feel a rating is warranted even for a DNF). This was just not for me. ...more
This was coasting along; a decent, if shallow, alternative history steampunk.... until that non-ending reared its head to frustrate me. Her Ladyship's Curse has an intriguing enough premise - a supernatural steampunk story set in "Toriana" (Provincial Union of Victoriana), a version of the United States where the Revolutionary War failed - but execution was shallow if serviceable. For the most part... but I will get to my severe dissatisfaction in just a minute.
I wanted more from the worldbuilding early on. The idea at the heart of the novel is a good one - far too few steampunk novels turn their focus outside of Great Britain - but the author failed to provide enough detail to flesh out her alternative history. The book is decent if far from stellar at several things: plot, pacing, writing, and creativity. However, the author's clear lack of detail works against Her Ladyship's Curse. The mystery element is pretty weak, but since Kit is a dry, amusing protagonist I was content to ride along with her and see where it all ended up.
And then, after two hundred pages of nondescript writing and very little characterization - which I was more than willing to look past because the novel was engaging enough - we get to that "ending." And I am being generous with that description. The last chapter is utterly frustrating. The cliffhanger resolves NOTHING. There is NO resolution to the main plot, just a clear ploy to buy book two. UGH. It was a cheap way to end a novel - regardless of how short the book may be. There are no answers, just an interlude THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PLOT that just.. terminates. It's over, and it's far from a good stopping point.
I can't say I will pick up His Lordship Possessed because of how terribly Her Ladyship's Curse ended. There are plenty of supernatural steampunk mysteries already published to keep me busy, and at least they are concerned with satisfactorily wrapping up plots before attempting to solicit more money from their readers. What had been a shaky 3-star read quickly downgraded into a 2/5 and just convinced me to never pick up this series again. ...more
This was exceedingly disappointing from the same author who wrote Born of Illusion. A flimsy plot, silly characters, and unnecessary relationship dramThis was exceedingly disappointing from the same author who wrote Born of Illusion. A flimsy plot, silly characters, and unnecessary relationship drama detract from any promise this sequel might have once had. ...more
I made it 53% and I either hate everything or it bores me.
It utterly fails to make a point with the genderbending aspAnd we have my first DNF of 2014.
I made it 53% and I either hate everything or it bores me.
It utterly fails to make a point with the genderbending aspect, so if you want to read a YA fantasy set in a non-white society in a jungle that does make some good points in a thoughtful exploration of gender -- read Alaya Dawn Johnson's The Summer Prince instead....more